Friday, January 29, 2010

Be Bold, Go Blue.

There seems to be a general resistence in the design world to decorating a kitchen in anything other than neutrals or whites -- probably because of the expense and difficulty of overhauling a kitchen should you decide just a few years later that you're no longer so enamored with, say, peach. And that's fair. I, too, eskewed bolder choices in favor of safer, buyer-friendly selections when I designed my kitchen last spring. But the end result is that, while I like my kitchen, I don't really love it. So I wish I'd stretched myself a bit more, been a bit bolder with my choices and maybe gone with, say, a blue kitchen.

The great thing about a blue kitchen is that, while it's a bit of a departure from the oft-used white, it's still fairly traditional. Nobody is going to think you've gone completely off your rocker and there's a good chance that you'll still love it in a few years' time. And even if you don't, repainting cabinets (or riping out backsplash) isn't the enormous hassle or expense that it's often made out to be.

One of my all-time favorite kitchens is this one by Sherrill Canet (shown in two photos above). Of course the towering cathedral ceilings probably have a lot to do with it, but I also love how Sherrill used a lighter blue on the wall cabinets and a darker blue on the island to anchor it in the space. My favorite element though is the glimmering stainless steal subway tile backsplash around the oven and the gorgeous stainless steel hood.

Elle Decor

This kitchen deservedly made the rounds in the design blogosphere when it first appeared in Elle Decor. I love the contrast of the large white island with the indigo wood floors and cabinets. The pendant lights and the milk glass chandelier are also envy-inducing.

Massucco Warner Miller Designs

A more modern take on a blue kitchen. I absolutely adore the (Silestone?) countertops and backsplash. The reddish tones in the natural wood floors and trim are a great contrast to the stainless steal and the cool blue of the cabinets.

Michael J. Williams

This kitchen from Michael J. Williams was featured in the latest issue of Traditional Home. As a brief aside, if you haven't picked up the February issue of TH yet, I highly suggest you do. Between the spread on Ruthie Sommers' latest work and Kara Mann's, it's one of the best issues I've seen from any shelter magazine in quite some time. Both spreads are also so reminiscent of domino that I found myself flipping back to the cover periodically just to make sure I wasn't hallucinating and reading a "new" issue of domino. In any case, the blue on this island is almost a chambray and it's this denim-like quality that I think really gives the space a laid back, family-oriented vibe.

Retro Renovation

This kitchen is retro to the point of kitsch, but turquoise and red always make me smile.


When this kitchen first appeared in domino a few years ago, it made me desperate for a chandelier in my kitchen. I love the contrast between the ornate black glass fixture and the sleek and modern kitchen.

House Beautiful

I love the deep royal blue featured on all the cabinetry -- it works so beautifully with the pops of bright citrus that the stylist brought in for the shoot. The color choice here is undoubtedly brave, but it's what elevates this kitchen into magazine-worthy status. The designer also wisely kept the rest of the kitchen quieter with classic Carrera marble counters and backsplash. Matching your counters to your backsplash is a great way to create a seamless and sleek look, which is ideal if you've got a lot of "look" going on elsewhere in your kitchen.

Frank Roop

The Ann Sacks tile featured on the backsplash in this kitchen makes me a bit weak in the knees. It works perfectly with the sleek gray (soapstone?) countertops without feeling overly match-y. I think backsplash is a great way to bring color into a kitchen if you don't want to go for a bold color for your cabinetry. If your tastes change, it's also not nearly as onerous to replace.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Object of Lust: Moreno Nesting Tables

My jaw literally dropped when I saw this pair of Moreno nesting tables from Crate&Barrel. Not only are the tables a departure style-wise from the typically very contemporary C&B (these look more like something you'd find at Jayson Home & Garden), but they also look way more glamorous and high-end. Between the antiqued brass finish and the polished shell top, it's as though C&B were channeling Kelly Wearstler.

Sure, $399 is some serious dough to pluck down for a pair of accent tables, but these look as if they cost twice that. Even my very frugal hubby loved them and wanted them for his man room.


Monday, January 25, 2010

I'm Feeling Flighty...

...So I'm going to be taking a break this week from blogging to take care of some work and personal obligations that I've been putting off. Besides, after accidentally buying the wrong make-up (in my wildest dreams I could never hope to be a "medium tan") and the wrong finish for three mirrors for my upstairs bathrooms, and double-booking myself for not one, but two weekends in February, I think I need a few days to defrag my brain. I promise to be back next week, fully alert and restored, and armed with some great new posts.

Photograph courtesy of Elle Canada.


Friday, January 22, 2010

I want more Shade

I thought I'd leave you this weekend with some images of the very, very cool Harlem home of designer Roderick N. Shade. Shade's home is the kind of place that makes me want to know the owner/designer -- after all, any man who can embrace fuchsia like Shade did (or who even has a name like Shade!) must be fabulous.

Shade's tiny 550 square-foot apartment was featured in this month's Architectural Digest and I think it might be the first spread in AD that I've actually been inspired by. [Every month when my AD arrives, I'm typically just reminded how inadequate it is as a replacement for domino and do little more than half-heartedly flip through it before putting it in the recycling bin.] By sticking to a (hopelessly hip) color palette of khaki, white and fuchsia throughout the tiny apartment, Shade creates a sense of cohesion and increases the visual space as each room flows seamlessly into the next. I also love how he was able to take a tiny, cramped, poorly lit hallway and make a real showstopper out of it. In many ways, it's my favorite part of the apartment.

Many of the furnishings were repurposed flea market (and even dumpster!) finds. It just goes to show you what a little paint and fabric can do. Suddenly a seen-better-days chair is the highlight of the entire room. I also think one of the keys to the success of this space is that all the furniture is appropriately sized for a small room -- there's no big, monstrous sectional taking up all the visual (and literal) space. I also like that by keeping all the furniture low to the ground, the room appears taller, and thus larger.

With the metallic sheen on the fabrics, plush pink carpeting and matching floor-to-ceiling drapes, this room evokes a hip downtown lounge vibe that makes me want to kick of my heels, grab a cocktail (or two) and kick back

Like Beth over at Chinoiserie Chic, I love the idea of using a screen as a headboard and this pink one is a real show stopper. With a little paint and ingenuity, Shade created a wonderful fuchsia trompe l'oeil ceiling medallion around a simple and inexpensive Japanese paper lantern and I think it really makes the room. I also love the white bedding with the pink and chocolate brown stripes -- I wonder if Shade made these himself or bought them as-is?

All told, Shade spent just under $23,000 to completely gut, renovate and furnish his home. Shade's website (currently under construction) promises potential clients that they will "experience world-class design that's astonishingly affordable and joyously collaborative". If his own home is any indication, I have little doubt that Shade will deliver on this promise.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Trend Alert: Soft or Antiqued Brass

A few years ago the very notion of brass fixtures was positively revolting. The polished brass faucets, door knobs and shower enclosures that were all the rage in the late '80s and early '90s had become the ugly duckling of the design world by the late '90s and early 2000s as designers and builders began favoring bronze over brass as the new metal du jour. Despite this fall from grace over the last decade, designers have recently been reintroducing brass as an acceptable metal. This time around though, the high sheen of polished or lacquered brass has been replaced by a matte (aka "soft") or antiqued finish.

Kelly Wearstler

The hallmark of the "new" brass is its softness and its subtly. The metal also has a way of giving a certain sophistication and age to even modern interiors. Brass coordinates perfectly with warm neutrals but is also a great foil for the cooler grays that have increased in popularity in the past few years. In short, the metal is just as versatile as nickel, but has the advantage of being a bit more unexpected. Like all metals, soft or antiqued brass is perfect as an accent, so accessories and fixtures are the ideal way to incorporate the trend into your existing decor.

I particularly like how a soft brass works with pinks and corals. The effect is pretty, yet sophisticated. And another example of how well brass works with pinks from the great Mary McDonald:

In this bedroom by Alessandra Branca, brass nail head trim on the headboard coordinates with the vintage brass bedside lamps.

Canadian House & Home

I'm absolutely in love with this hanging pendant lamp. It's shape is traditional, but its oversized scale feels incredibly modern to me. While brass is often thought of as very traditional, this breakfast nook illustrates that it can work just as successfully in a more modern interior.

Elle Decor

A traditional brass nail head trim is the ideal way to subtly work this trend into your home. Don't worry about coordinating your other metals to "match"; oil-rubbed bronze (as shown above) is a beautiful and natural compliment to the warm gold tones in the brass. For a truly eclectic look, try mixing brass with nickel or silver.

This season, major retailers have begun to get on board with the trend and there are a ton of gorgeous (and even affordable) accessories and fixtures in brass to choose from. Below, a selection of my favorites:

Source list (clockwise, from top left): 1. Moreno Nesting Tables from Crate&Barrel ($399). 2. Hampton Upholstered Bench from Ballard Designs ($359 plus cost of fabric). 3. Meurice side table from Jonathan Adler ($295). 4. Albany pendant from Restoration Hardware ($49.99). 5. Van Dyke cocktail table from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. 6. Derrick Tower small table lamp from Circa Lighting ($420). 6. Mother-of-Pearl knob from Anthropologie ($14). 7. Greek Key nut bowl from Williams-Sonoma Home ($28). 8. Orion Convex Mirror from Avid-Home ($240). 9. PB Standard drapery rods in Warm Brass from Pottery Barn ($79-$119).

Source List (clockwise, from top left): 1. Nate Berkus Etched Feather Tray from HSN ($69.95). 2. Basil Flush Mount from Circa Lighting ($420). 3. Brass Oval Lattice Planter from Ethan Allen ($119). 4. Brass candleholder from Pottery Barn ($59). 5. Sabine Brass table lamp from Revival Home & Garden ($315). 6. Calvin Leather Chair from Tonic Home ($1,585). 7. Costello Stool from Modern Dose ($365). 8. Egolomise coffee table from Beeline Home. 9. Bamboo brass table from Avid Home ($645).


Monday, January 18, 2010

Mood Board Monday: Glamorous Bathroom

German Silver Bowfront Chest (Wisteria; $2499)

Today is Mood Board Monday over at Pewter + Sage. The challenge this week was to design a room around one of two gorgeous chests from Wisteria. I selected the German Silver Bowfront Chest for its gorgeous hand-applied silver-leaf finish and its charming glass hardware.

I decided to do something a bit different this time by repurposing this chest as a bathroom vanity. I love the look of proper furniture in a bathroom and I thought this chest would perfectly suite a petite city bathroom for a glamorous city gal. It's feminine and shapely, with a graceful presence that would befit a young, single gal in the Big City who is short on space but long on style. As for budget, let's pretend our client has a rather deep pocketbook (after all, it's much more fun to fantasize without too many restrictions, isn't it?).

Despite the strong traditional feeling of the piece, I wanted the setting to still feel modern. Inspired by Jenna Lyons' gorgeous master bathroom (featured last year in domino), I thought I'd capitalize on a major trend in interior design this year and paint the walls a stunning matte black wall. A traditional stand-alone bathtub with a deep charcoal exterior would also enhance the mood.

Canadian House & Home, April 2008

What I love about using black as the dominant color in a bathroom is that it's just so unexpected, though in truth the result can be just as soothing as the ubiquitous all-white bathroom. Since the shape and styling of the chest means that I can't go totally modern, I'd add some very traditional bathroom elements (white subway tile, nickel hardware) to play up the vintage feeling of the chest and to create some tension against the very modern black walls. Something along the lines of this gorgeous vintage-inspired black and white bathroom that was featured last year in Canadian House & Home.

I'd start by painting the walls a true black -- I like Benjamin Moore's Black if you're looking for a black without a hint of green or blue. I'd tile the walls around the bathtub in a classic white subway tile with some narrow black trim. My major splurge on this project would be the gorgeous cast iron free-standing tub from Waterworks in a deep charcoal metallic finish. Yes, it's pricey, but it would make the room.

For the vanity's top, I'd use a small piece of gorgeous Nero Marquina marble. The classic Spanish marble's strong veining of white and silver will help tie in the vanity's silver finish with the classic black and white basketweave floor. I'd keep the sink a simple white porcelain undermount and use classic nickel fixtures. To mix things up, I'd add a mirror and vanity lighting with Chinoiserie influences. To up the glam factor, overhead lighting would come in the form of a petite flushmount seeded glass and silver fixture -- just the kind of piece you'd imagine stumbling on at a Parisian flea market. Next to the tub, I'd keep a small side table for books, towels or bath products that could also do double duty as a stool. The silver leaf finish will speak to the finish on the vanity and help tie the two areas of the bathroom together. Finally, I'd introduce another pattern into the room by covering the window in a classic roman shade made out of this white and silvery gray geometric fabric.

Source list (clockwise, from top left): 1. Hampstead Mirror from Williams-Sonoma Home ($505.75). 2. Double Chinoiserie Bath Light from Circa Lighting ($378). 3. Vintage Widespread Sink Set from Restoration Hardware ($429). 4. Michael S. Smith signature tile from Ann Sacks. 5. Michael S. Smith mosaic basketweave tile from Ann Sacks. 6. Nero Marquina marble from Ann Sacks. 7. Candide Cast Iron Freestanding Oval Bathtub from Waterworks ($9,945). 8. Winsdor Smith Archipelago fabric (in Mist) from Avid Home ($49/yd). 9. Small Paris Flea Market Flush Mount with Seeded Glass Trim from Circa Lighting ($420). 10. Silver Leaf Five Leg Table from Ethan Allen ($359).

Be sure to check out all the other great design ideas for this gorgeous chest HERE.


Friday, January 15, 2010

The Story of A Few Throw Pillows

I realize that I haven't posted any updates on decorating my new house in the past few months, and that's because that progress ground to halt sometime back in November when work and social obligations overwhelmed me and all but shut down my decorating élan. But with the start of the new year has come an fresh burst of inspiration as I've made a number of great finds for the new house. Today though, I thought I'd share the latest additions to my family room: a pair of pillows I picked up from Plum Cushion (who I found via Jenny at Little Green Notebook). And I love them. The pillows are Chiang Mai Dragon from Schumacher. The print is one of my all-time favorites and, while the aquamarine colorway is admittedly ubiquitous, I don't see the China Blue colorway very frequently.

Isn't it gorgeous? If it weren't so pricey I'd probably be buying this in bulk for curtains. In any case, I was incredibly impressed with Melanie's finish work on the pillows; the self-welt and the hidden zipper are immaculate. I also appreciated how she centered the dragons front and center:

Despite the latest additions to my sofa, I still had that gut feeling that something was missing. It looked good, but the sofa still needed that little extra oomph to really put it over the top. And that's when I had a Eureka! moment this afternoon and pulled this out of my closet:

Three yards of KWID Imperial Trellis II in Navy that I scored at discount from Pink Wallpaper back in June! The larger-scale geometric fabric works perfectly with the Chiang Mai Dragon; like nectar and ambrosia, these two fabrics are the perfect pairing. Even better, Melanie accepts custom orders and a customer's fabric so I'll be shipping these three yards to Oregon tomorrow and in less than two weeks I'll have two 18" pillows for the couch and a small lumbar pillow for my wingback chair. I'd also consider the price for fabrication to be more than reasonable (perhaps even a steal) given the amount of work that clearly goes into her pillows.

Ultimately, this "story" of my new pillows is illustrative of what I love most about the Internet: it connects you to all sorts of talented (and kind!) people and opens up doors you assumed were closed to you. Through the magic of the blogosphere, I've been connected to individuals who have allowed me access to "trade only" fabrics and bespoke pillows at prices well within my budget. Kind of amazing when you think about it, isn't it?


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

On My Love of Quatrefoil

My love affair with quatrefoil is hardly new for those of you who've been following this blog for a while as the motif has frequently popped up in my mood boards for the new house. Like greek key, I find it hard to resist just about any product that includes even just a hint of the motif. While the roots of the symbol are ancient, and the motif is frequently found in both Gothic and Moorish architecture from the Middle Ages, the quatrefoil is enjoying a renewed popularity in recent years.

And while my love of quatrefoil probably doesn't extend to the full-on obsession that would be required to compell someone to cover every square inch of a room in the motif (as in the old domino photo above), I do think a little bit of quatrefoil goes a long way to bringing sophistication and style to your home (or your jewelry box!).

Source list:

1. Quatrefoil Tole Tray from Ballard Designs ($69). Trays make any mess look organized and "decorated". I'd use this one to corral all my remotes (I think I have 4 for one TV!).

2. Reims knob from Anthropologie ($14). I love the inlaid mother-of-pearl and the gilt finish. Very Kelly Wearstler.

3. Maharam Quatrefoil pillow from Velocity Art & Design ($150). A classic mod pattern is a modernist's take on the ancient motif.

4. 'Tini table IV from Oomph ($495). This accent table comes in 16 great colors -- my favorites are dorian gray (shown) and blue peacock.

5. Alexandra Chair from Hickory Chair. Designed by Suzanne Kasler, this chair is destined to become a classic. I'd love one or two of these for my master bedroom.

6. Quatrefoil Table Lamp from Circa Lighting. Also designed by Suzanne Kasler, this quatrefoil table lamp comes in gilded and aged iron and in a floor lamp model. And don't miss her new quatrefoil wall sconce -- it's seriously breathtaking and a steal at under $300.

7. Signature Clover chandelier earrings from Stella & Dot ($49). A pair of earrings go with just about any outfit and any occasion, but I love chandelier earrings with a casual look, so I'd dress these down with boyfriend jeans and a great sweater.

8. Quatrefoil headboard from Ballard Designs (starting at $449). I'd love to see this upholstered in a clean, neutral linen for a lovely Belgium look.

9. Quatrefoil key pendant from Tiffany's ($1000). Alas, I didn't get this for Christmas, but it's still on my wish list (ahem, Dave!).

10. CAS Pollux wall mirror from ($329). I love how the quatrefoil is inset into the circle and that the frame is gilt. Mark my words: brass and gold are making a comeback!

11. Fabrics: Bocce (in Godiva) from Calico Corners ($42.99/yd.) and Anna's Drawing Room Pressed Flowers (in Gold) from ($10.49/yd.). Two great, albeit different, fabric options at reasonable prices. I'd use the bocce print for larger projects like curtains or a great slipper chair and the wilder, more bohemian print for some seriously bold pillows.

12. World Notes (in purple) from Albertine Press ($15/set of 6). These would make the task of sending "thank you" notes pleasurable. The set also comes in green or gray.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Trend Alert: Colorful Ceilings

Canadian House & Home, January 2010

There's a lot of talk in the design world about the dangers inherent in ignoring the "fifth wall", but honestly, I'd say 90% of the time a white ceiling is perfectly acceptable, even preferable. But if you're looking for some extra credit, then upping the ante by decorating your ceiling can really take your room to the next level.

This month's issue of Canadian House & Home focuses on design trends for 2010. Generally speaking, 2010 (at least as far as H&H is concerned) looks much the same as 2009, which is unsurprising since design trends tend to evolve at a slower pace than fashion. One of H&H's big trends though for this upcoming year is wallpapered ceilings and I think I really like the idea, especially if your house has high ceilings or you're looking to create architectural interest where there is none. Not only is wallpapering just the ceiling more cost-effective than doing the walls, but I find it more appealing than the single accent wall (which often just looks unfinished, in my opinion). To avoid visually shrinking your room, I'd stick with lighter colors or metallics. And, to keep the edges crisp and to visually frame the pattern, I'd recommend doing this in a room with crown molding.

domino, November 2008

But of course for every "rule" in design, there's inevitably a great exception. I'm not sure if the yellow and white stripes are done using paint or wallpaper, but I love the effect they create in Jenna Lyons' nursery (crown molding or no). I'm also struck how this room, despite being several years old now, feels incredibly current, but then again I'd argue that Jenna's home was incredibly trendsetting, from its black walls, judicious use of yellow (2009's "it" color) and cool grays, to its decorative ceiling.

Meg Braff

While I'm not a big fan of paneled walls, I love the look of natural wood on a ceiling. In this Palm Beach sun room designed by Meg Braff the look is mimicked with faux painting and I love the laid back, island effect. It brings some age to what is probably a brand new home.

Stephen Shubel

I've noticed an increasing movement towards painting the ceiling the same color as the walls. Generally, I'm not a huge fan of this as I find the effect a bit claustrophobic, but I do think this works well in bedrooms or media rooms as these are two rooms where the cocoon-effect can be a positive rather than a negative.

Brown Design

In this den, Ryan Brown paints the ceiling in the same soft sage green as carpet, and I think it's a great way to bring in more color while still keeping your four walls neutral (here, Ryan lined the walls in grass cloth). And I just have to mention again how much I adore those built-ins. Pure perfection.

Jeffers Design

While not for the faint of heart, designers will sometimes extend the pattern on the walls up to the ceilings. While this has a similar effect to painting the ceiling the same color as the walls as the boundaries between wall and ceiling visually disappear, it's obviously going to pack a much bigger (and bolder) punch. I especially like this technique when the ceilings are slanted as the effect can be quite striking and even a little bit Alice in Wonderland-esque (in the best possible way). Sure, not something you may want in your bedroom, but it could be loads of fun in a powder room. To wit, a few great examples of "tented" bathrooms from domino:

I particularly love Stephen Shubel's crisp black and white striped bath. I'd throw in a few kelly green accents though in homage to Miles Redd's fantastic green, black and white kitchen.

Sara Story

This is a room that's been in my inspiration files for a long time. I love how the purple ceiling highlights the high ceilings, drawing the eye upwards and keeping the focus away from the narrowness of the room. Subtle hits of purple accessories brings the color down, tying the ceiling into the rest of the otherwise neutral room.

Amanda Nisbet

If you're new to the world of decorative ceilings, you really can't go wrong with a very light blue (especially if your walls are white). The effect is subtle, but stunning. This is also a classic ceiling color for a porch as the light blue mimics the sky.

Kelley Interior Design

As one of the many devotees of Turquoise in the design world, I love how Kelley Proxmire has pulled the color out of the upholstery and used it on the ceiling (albeit in a less intense tone). The soft turquoise ceiling highlights the high ceilings and only serves to intensify the hue on the accessories and soft furnishings.

Kishani Perera

I'm so glad purple is "in" again in design -- it's such a rich hue and a great alternative to red. In this bedroom, Kishani brilliantly uses three versions of the same purple on the walls, starting with a deep, intense aubergine below the chair rail and finishing with a light and subtle lavender for the ceiling. Keeping the darkest shade on bottom is a great way to ground your room and make your ceilings look higher. To get the tones right, I'd simply select two or three shades from the same color strip at your local paint store; that way, you're sure to get a perfect match. I'm thinking of stealing this idea myself and have my ceiling in my study painted in a pale lavender, to highlight the moldings and coordinate with the aubergine walls.

So what do you think? Are ceilings the new frontier in design?


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Virtual Vacation: Mexico

As much of the country settles in for a bitterly cold weekend, I can't help but daydream a bit about being somewhere (anywhere!) else. Some place warm, sunny, beautiful and near the water is just the ticket to chasing away the winter blues. Besides, after limping my way through my first week back after a 10 day vacation, I'll admit that I (quite unjustifiably) feel that I'm due for another break already. After all, there's nothing like going on vacation to make you crave more time off.

This Mexican beach house was designed by Chicago-based Kara Mann. Featured in Western Interiors' October/November 2008 edition, this house eschews stereotypical hacienda-style in favor of a modern-rustic sensibility. Dark wood beams and trim are strong counterpoints to the soft white walls and create architectural interest, but are more streamlined and polished than the large, rough-hewed beams typically featured in Mexican interiors.

Perhaps the thing I respect Kara Mann most for is her clean, uncluttered style. Each piece of furniture, each accessory is chosen with extreme care and it shows: they're all pretty darn special, even if they're more understated in nature. There aren't a dozen pillows crammed on the sofa, but the two throw pillows that are there really make a statement. The larger pillow fabric is Donghia's suzani print in pink passion and it's one of my all-time favorite prints. The coffee table is the brickmaker's table from Restoration Hardware and I love the age that it brings to the space.

The floor-to-ceiling fireplace surround is both rustic and minimal. Two mismatched (but quite stunning) side chairs invite cozy after-dinner conversations around the fire. The chartreuse chair is just about the only colorful piece of furniture in the space, but it picks up nicely on the colors in the patterned rugs and suzani-print pillows. The wingback chair's bold and architectural take on a classic shape is quite modern and reminds me of the Rand wingback that I have in my own living room.

I love how all the track doors can be opened up to create a seamless transition between the indoor and outdoor spaces. And with a view like that, all you need are some simple white curtains to frame the ocean.

Doesn't that bench out on the covered porch look like the perfect spot for an afternoon siesta?

The perfect spot for outdoor dining at dusk. Kara shows that there's no reason to forgo comfort and style with standard-issue patio furniture. Instead, why not opt for indoor furniture that can stand up to the elements?

Again, the transition from indoor to outdoor is seamless. I wish Kara's portfolio had a shot of the exterior of the house, which I can only imagine must be stunning given the location, deep porches and stone facade.

A great spot to escape the intense afternoon sun while still enjoying the view.

The first of three bedrooms. I love the mix here of modern and traditional. The navy blue sidetable is a great touch and really pulls out the blues in the photographs above it and the rug underneath. The wire-framed Louis XV-style chair is also an interesting, if unexpected, choice but perfectly suits the small space.

I featured this room recently on my post about canopy beds and I think this might be my favorite of the three bedrooms, primarily because of the arched windows and trim. The spareness of the wrought iron bed is also lovely and frames the bed just as the narrow dark crown molding does. The pink accents in the pillows pick up on the fuschia cushions in the living room and, together with the predominance of white and dark brown, create a sense of cohesion throughout the house.

I love, love, love this bathroom. There's just something so Old World about it, but with all the luxuries of the 21st century. The traditional tiles and antiqued vanity are gorgeous, but what really makes this space for me are those screened shutters and how the arc of the window echoes the arch separating the bathtub from the rest of the room.

I can never get enough of a big, dramatic headboard and this one really delivers. I can't help but think though that if the wallcolor were a bit darker (maybe a nice rust or chocolate?) then the headboard was shine all the more. I know though that a darker paint color goes against the open and airy feel of the house, but I think a dark, cool bedroom works just about everytime.

These two mirrors are gorgeous -- anyone know where they were sourced? The floor tile and backsplash are also a great nod to classic Spanish style. Perfecto!

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